The former head officer of the Veterans Services Office for Faribault County says he was the victim of a hostile work environment.
Through his attorney Phil Villaume, David Hanson commented on the release of investigation findings related to a complaint filed against him.
“David Hanson denies any wrongdoing and states that he never had the opportunity to respond to the allegations,” Villaume says. “The subsequent claims made in the investigation against David Hanson were done in retaliation and never brought up in his 24-year career with Faribault County.”
Villaume says the investigation was the result of a April 2017 letter Hanson sent to Commissioner John Roper and then County Attorney Troy Timmerman regarding a Notice of Claim and Formal Complaint against the county’s Human Resources Department for workplace harassment, disability discrimination and other violations of law.
Villaume says his client served in the military and after years of service to his country was honorably discharged.
“Claims made in the investigation were never brought up prior to his letter,” Villaume says.
Faribault County Attorney Kathryn Karjala-Curtis made the investigation results public
following an order issued by Watonwan County Judge Darci Benz denying Hanson’s civil lawsuit to keep them private under the state’s Data Practices law.
Hanson filed a suit when former County Attorney Troy Timmerman, at the request of Tripleanews.com, identified data that could be released under the Data Practices law even though the investigation was stopped after he resigned.
In e-mails to Hanson’s attorney and an attorney for the county, Michelle Soldo of Soldo Consulting, P.C., in Woodbury summarizes allegations that Hanson:
- engaged in conduct demonstrating poor personal and professional boundaries;
- caused others to fear for their personal and physical safety;
- violated county policy prohibiting weapons on county property and in his possession during work-related travel;
- interfered with law enforcement efforts to ensure the safety and security of the Veterans Services Office and staff;
- hindered the rights of others to report their work-related concerns;
- and led to staff turnover.
Hanson also is accused of demeaning and discourteous behavior with regard to some veterans his office was in charge of serving.
“Witnesses consistently and credibly expressed that they are fearful of retaliation on the part of Mr. Hanson, independently and consistently citing his propensity to engage in paranoid, angry and volatile behavior leading them to fear for their personal safety and the safety of others,” Soldo wrote.